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OFT approves Kingfisher takeover of 30 Focus stores

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Some 600 retail jobs have been saved after home & DIY retailer Kingfisher was given Office of Fair Trading (OFT) approval to buy 30 stores from failed industry rival Focus DIY.

The agreement to purchase the outlets from administrators for £31 million was made in May, but confirmation of the deal was put on hold while the OFT investigated if competition rules would be breached.

Kingfisher will open the stores under the B&Q brand, with some set to be unveiled as early as next month.

Commenting on the decision, Kingfisher Group CEO Ian Cheshire said: “We are looking forward to offering B&Q’s range of well priced products, services and advice to consumers in these areas, as well as bringing new investment to the local communities.

“We are delighted that we will be able to safeguard more than 600 jobs by bringing the B&Q store format to parts of the country in which we currently do not operate.

“I would like to thank the OFT for acting swiftly, enabling so many jobs to be saved.”

Focus DIY entered administration in May and announced that 120 stores would be closed at the expense of around 3,000 jobs.

The remaining shops in the company’s portfolio were acquired by a number of rivals,including Wickes and B&M Bargains.

Published on Thursday 07 July by Editorial Assistant

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